Adult leaders and parents are NOT exempt from the Scout Law. Have you ever really thought about it. Also the number one question we should ask all Scouts.
Definition as to there meaning:
Friendly – A Scout is friends to all. Scouts are a brother to other Scouts. Scouts offer their friendship to people of all races, religions, and nations and respect them even if their beliefs and customs are different from their own. B-P wrote about similar wording however he diverted into a social class. “No matter what Social Class the Other Belongs.” B-P was from the late 1800s and must think of his times and his revolutionary thinking. Today we would say he was “woke”.
Courteous – A Scout is polite to people of all ages and positions. Scouts understand that using good manners makes it easier for people to get along. B-P had similar meanings in his writings however, he added the line “And he (the Scout) must not take any reward for being helpful or courteous.”
Kind – A Scout treats others as they want to be treated. Scouts know there is strength in being gentle. Scouts do not harm or kill any living thing without good reason. Originally, “Kind” was oriented only towards the treatment of animals. This has changed shortly after World War II to reflect kindness to all creatures including humans.
History – The original writings of Baden Powell in the first Handbook are conveyed Similarly. Historically there were only 9 scout laws outlined originally. However Later the British scouts added Reverent making it 10 scout laws. Do you know which ones were added to the 12 American Scout laws?
The scout law is an amazing principle for real Action in one’s life. Putting each one of the scout law into a daily meaning can literally change the outlook of a young person. As scout leaders, we need to be the example, not the exception. Never forget that we are all obligated to abide by the scout law.
The number one question that every Scout leader and parents should ask of their Scouts. “What do you think I most want you to be?” A. Successful, B. Good, C. Smart, or D. Happy. The correct answer is “B” Good. You cannot achieve any of the others without being good. This question also helps calibrate how we are doing as leaders and parents.
Scouting is the world’s best hope for training youth to become productive leaders. For such an important organization it’s not understood widely. ScouterStan Has put together 3 videos that explain the origins and history of scouting. This is a good place to start finding out more information about scouting. This video is the first in a compilation series called “Heinz 57”… so you can “Catch-Up”.
The history of scoutings beginnings and how scouting came to America is a fascinating subject. We first must understand the basics of youth organizations at the turn of the 20th century. In 1844, George Williams founded the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in England. The youth of the age ware struggling to establish there generation. George Williams organization was to help develop a healthy body, mind, and spirit. In 1900 Baden-Powel authored “Aids to Scouting For NCOs & Men”. This book was quickly picked up by youth groups all over England. In the United States, Ernest Seton in 1902 founded Woodcraft Indians. The book “The Berch-Bark Rolls of the Woodcraft Indians” was the foundation of their organization. In 1905 Daniel Beard founded Sons of Daniel Boone. Baden-Powell or ‘BP’ (as he preferred) conducted the Brown Sea Island camp experiment in 1907. B-P author “Scouting For Boys” that same year. By 1908 the first Scout Troops in Britain were well established.
At around that time William D Boyce an American newspaperman was lost in the fog of London when a Scout offered to help. This act of kindness (good turn) impressed him to research Scouting and bring it back to America. On February 8,1910 the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was incorporated. Boyce, Seton, Beard, Charles Eastman (YMCA – Dakota Native American) established the foundation. Boyce developed the organization with Edgar Robinson (YMCA) and Lee Hanmer (Later Camp Fire Girls 1912) In 1911 James West became the first Chief Scout Executive. The United States Congress passed a Congressional Charter in 1916 officially establishing The Boy Scouts of America (BSA).
The mission statement then and now is basically the same:
“To prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.”